cover image Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born

Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born

Miranda Paul, illus. by Jason Chin. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4161-7

Realistic, light-infused paintings by Chin (Grand Canyon) and spare rhymes by Paul (Are We Pears Yet?) highlight a fetus’s developmental milestones inside a mother’s womb while outside, a family lovingly prepares, month by month, for the baby’s arrival. Labeled illustrations of dividing cells, an embryo, then a fetus (depicted actual size from months four to nine) sit opposite inviting scenes of the family at the same stage getting ready to welcome its newest member. “Lips./ Flips./ Curve, dip, and groove./ She has a face./ She likes to move!” declares the “Month Five” spread, which attends the family assembling a crib. Along the way, the expecting parents proffer a “big sister” T-shirt to their preschool-age child, and mother and daughter share tender tummy-touching moments prior to the birth, which is marked by a close-up of the squalling newborn. Illustrated back matter explains the gestational stages in greater depth. Additional sections compare human and animal gestation spans and straightforwardly answer questions about multiple and premature births, as well as miscarriages. This appealing treatment of the subject strikes a perfect balance between biology—minus the birds and bees—and a gentle relevancy for young, soon-to-be siblings. Ages 4–8. [em](Apr.) [/em]